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committed to punish a person who did not. i think everybody agrees with that. it's crucial to find that the person who did do it unless a person who should be punished and that means a part of that is to have a judge and part of it e criminalizing otherwise
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law-abiding citizens inappropriately, in my view. >> mr. chairman. >> senator cruz. >> if i might pose a question to the senior senator from california. in your response to senator cornyn, you mentioned that there are some 100 pages of the bill that specify particular firearms if this bill were passed congress would have deemed prohibited. it seems to me that all of us should begin as our foundational document with the constitution. and the second amendment in the bill of rights provides the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be
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infringed. the term the right of the people. it's found in the first amendment. the right of the people to peaceably assemble and to petition their government for grievances, it's found in the fourth amendment, the right of the people to be found unreasonable from searches and seizures. and the question i pose to the senator from california, would she deem it consistent with the bill of rights for congress to engage in the same endeavor that we are contemplating doing with the second amendment in the context of the first or fourth amendment, namely, would she consider it constitutional for congress to specify that the first amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that congress has deemed outside the protection of the bill of rights? likewise, would she think that the fourth amendment's protection against searches and seizures could properly apply only to the following specified individuals and not to the
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individuals that congress has deemed outside the protection of the bill of rights? >> would the senator yield for a question? >> let me just make a couple of points in response. one, i'm not a sixth grader. senator, i've been on this committee for 20 years. i was a mayor for nine years. i walked in, i saw people shot. i've looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. i've seen the bullets that implode. in sandy hook, youngsters were dismembered. look, there are other weapons. i've been up -- i'm not a lawyer, but after 20 years i've been up close and personal to the constitution. i have great respect for it. this doesn't mean that weapons of war and the heller decision clearly points out three exceptions, two of which are pertinent here. and so i -- you know, it's fine you want to lecture me on the constitution. i appreciate it. just know i've been here for a
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long time. i've passed on a number of bills. i've studied the constitution myself. i am reasonably well educated, and i thank you for the lecture. incidentally, this does not prohibit -- you use the word prohibit. it exempts 2,271 weapons. isn't that enough for the people in the united states? do they need a about a -- bazooka? do they need military weapons to kill people in close contact? i don't think so. i come from a different place than you do. i respect your views. i ask you to respect my views. >> mr. chairman -- >> senator is out of time. >> mr. chairman, i can't add anything to that. >> senator cruz. >> mr. chairman, i would ask yet another question of the senior senator from california. i think nobody doubts her
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sincerity or her passion and yet at the same time i would note that she chose not to answer the question that i asked. which is, in her judgment, would it be consistent with the constitution for congress to specify which books are permitted and which books are not and to use the -- >> the answer is obvious -- no. >> and if i may ask -- >> could we keep on the -- i appreciate we have a discussion on books. i know that they have that in your state of texas where educational board should not read in their schools. something we would not do in vermont. we are not going to talk about your right. let's stick to guns. just -- >> mr. chairman, iur anowledgin state of i would broadly. >> pornography books. >> protected by the first amendment. >> it's obviously there are
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different tests on different amendments. and i think what the senator is going to point out was something that didn't occur to me at the moment. there are certain kinds of pornographic materials that would not be covered by the first amendment. >> and is it the view of the senior senator from california that congress should be in the business of specifying particular books or for that matter with respect to the fourth amendment particular individuals who are not covered by the bill of rights? >> sir, congress is in the business of making law. the supreme court interprets the law. they strike down the law, they strike down the law. the tests in heller with respect to unusual weapons, two other things i think do not cover -- in other words, they cover an exemption for assault weapons. if this is brought up before the court if it should pass, i'm sure that argument will be made. >> the senator from illinois wish -- >> that's exactly the point. the senator knows having attended law school and
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professes to have some experience in the constitution, none of these rights are absolute. none of them. and the heller decision goes specifically to the question of this amendment and tells us when they were asked in the heller decision, a panel -- heller 2, a panel of republican appointed judges rejected a second amendment challenge to d.c.'s assault weapon ban and magazine limits, the second amendment challenge. the d.c. circuit court held that such laws, quote, do not that such laws, quote, do not disarm
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Today in Washington
CSPAN March 15, 2013 2:00am-6:00am EDT

News/Business. News.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Heller 4, California 4, Bazooka 1, Cornyn 1, Texas 1, Vermont 1, Illinois 1, Sandy Hook 1
Network CSPAN
Duration 04:00:00
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on 3/15/2013